Unlike the chip shot that former Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff sailed wide left in the AFC championship game, rookie kicker Justin Tucker connected on his short field goal to beat the New England Patriots.

Tucker narrowly made a 27-yard field goal with two seconds remaining, a game-winning kick as the Ravens defeated the Patriots, 31-30, Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium.


"It was pretty cool," Tucker said. "It may not have sunk in yet. Hopefully, this is one of many. I relish the opportunity. It's fun. I'm excited."

The kick almost traveled too far to the right, but the former University of Texas standout got the job done.

"Bottom line is it went in," Tucker said. "That's all I care about. It went in."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick called a timeout to try to freeze Tucker, who made the kick routinely as the whistle blew.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked if he was concerned if the kick wouldn't have gone through the uprights.

"If I was, I would not admit it," Harbaugh said. "The first one did look a little more clean, I will say."

Tucker acknowledged that the kick did carry some extra emotions for him as he dealt with the higher stakes of the situation.

"I try to make it feel the same, but, at the same time, you can't help it," Tucker said. "There's a lot of emotion. There's a lot of history between these two teams. It's just one of those things that you accept, and you've really just got to embrace it and embrace it in the moment."

Tucker unseated Cundiff, a former Pro Bowl kicker, with a superior preseason.

He's now made the first seven kicks of his NFL career, and he's been earning his teammates' confidence.

"I was already sending my farewells," running back Ray Rice said. "I've seen him make those kicks in practice all the time."

Long snapper Morgan Cox was impressed by Tucker's poise.

"I'm really happy for him," Cox said. "It's a summation of all the hard work we put in. Lead him the right way and keep him focused and grounded."

Tucker has a certain swagger, particularly for a kicker, which resonates with his teammates in the locker room.


"Tucker's money, man," strong safety Bernard Pollard siad. "Tucker's different from every other kicker. The dude has character. He's loud, he's having fun, and we're enjoying him. He's a character and he belongs in this locker room."

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